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post #1 of 17 Old 03-03-2018 Thread Starter
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Nautical Charts BVI's

I am chartering a Benetau 35 in the BVI's in April and would like to purchase some form of paper chart for the area. Doesn't need to be a full scale chart, but needs to be at a useful scale. I want to get them before I leave for the trip. Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 17 Old 03-03-2018
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Re: Nautical Charts BVI's

I just finished a flotilla trip there and found the paper chart (Imray 231) hardly useful. The Navionics phone app for the Caribbean and S. America was extremely useful.

The guidebook (Cruising Guide to the Virgin Islands) is also useful for pre-trip planning navigation.

Enjoy.
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Re: Nautical Charts BVI's

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I just finished a flotilla trip there and found the paper chart (Imray 231) hardly useful.
Thanks you. I was looking at the Imray charts for BVI/St Croix and Tortola/Anegada. Why did you find them not useful?
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post #4 of 17 Old 03-03-2018
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Re: Nautical Charts BVI's

The phone app allowed for much more detail (magnification) and showed a course-line to our destinations. The chart stayed below. I found this useful to play around with. https://webapp.navionics.com/
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post #5 of 17 Old 03-03-2018
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Re: Nautical Charts BVI's

For 6 years in the Caribbean we used Navionics, the gude books and a Dutch planning chart. We had the Virgin Isles chart pack but hardly used it.

In the BVI you can see where you are going and there is just the odd rock to avoid!

Enjoy

Phil
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post #6 of 17 Old 03-03-2018
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Re: Nautical Charts BVI's

If I may... the guide book, and the electronic plotter onboard are 90% of what you need.
the 10% the charter company may very well supply you with. Mine did (just came back this week).
Most charts are pretty useless right now... I mean sure they'll tell you what things were like before there were sunken vessels everywhere.

The charter company likely will give you a large laminated chart of the area... mark out places you absolutely can't go (Trellis bay anyone?).. I got pictures to explain why if you need them.

Anyway... Navionics and the $15 annual fee is good... the guidebook is still a go to (every charter company provides one with the boat too), the onboard electronics of course, but frankly ASK the charter company! BYC was actually telling charter skippers when they could make the run to Anegada too (you call for permission they work out the weather window with you). Sea state and winds were up while I was there.

But some examples... Red Rock, in east end tortola... the mooring field is littered with sunken boats, capsized, and parts. Chart/Guidebook says depths are 8 feet, my sounder said 6... I sticked it (with a boat pole) because I didn't believe it, it was 6 feet. My boat (chartered) drew 4.5 feet. Swing over some debris below and it could ruin your vacation...

NOW that being said... the Red Rock Cafe was great, and the marina rebuilt already in front of it. Great people and well worth going to see, you just have to use some common sense.

MINI MOO, a 1983 Wavelength 24 - she's a fast cow!
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post #7 of 17 Old 03-03-2018
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Re: Nautical Charts BVI's

And if this is useful, we moored in Great Harbor (Peter); Leverick Bay (docked); Anegada; Trellis; Great Harbor (Jost) and Privateer (Norman). Windy enough that we never got full sails deployed, but were allowed to do Anegada.
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post #8 of 17 Old 03-04-2018
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Re: Nautical Charts BVI's

Quote:
Originally Posted by 22catcapri View Post
I just finished a flotilla trip there and found the paper chart (Imray 231) hardly useful. The Navionics phone app for the Caribbean and S. America was extremely useful.

The guidebook (Cruising Guide to the Virgin Islands) is also useful for pre-trip planning navigation.

Enjoy.
If you are in a flotilla, you don’t need to develop your own “bigger picture” for the week. But when you are on your own, I’ve found paper charts much easier to use—especially when discussing options with your crew. I have always taken my own waterproof Imray charts when chartering in the Caribbean. I also mark the up with the route taken and overnight stops. After several trips you have an interesting souvenir.

I also carry a handheld chartplotter (Oregon) with the appropriate chart chip (Eastern Caribbean) with preloaded waypoints for an upcoming charter. That way I have a familiar piece of gear that is pocket sized and a known entity. I’ve also taken my iPad with Garmin blue charts on charters, but that device is not as rugged as the Oregon. There have been times when that mattered as the wind and rain came in and the charter boat did not have a built-in chartplotter.

Having your own guidebook and handheld chartplotter also allows you to zoom in on intended anchorages and the occasional navigation hazard as you are planning your week. That said, we have sailed beyond the typical BVI charter range, including St Croix and the Spanish Virgins, where you really want to know exactly where you are relative to the reefs.

Understandably, I if you are in a “follow the leader” flotilla, you won’t need the navigational tools that are helpful when you are captain and commodore.
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post #9 of 17 Old 03-04-2018
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Re: Nautical Charts BVI's

I've heard of "follow-the-leader" flotillas. Ours had a night before chart briefing, and "see you there" next day sail, which allowed for individual route selection and departure times. And to the point, we used the app extensively as opposed to the chart.
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post #10 of 17 Old 03-04-2018
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Re: Nautical Charts BVI's

I am a NAV dinosaur and do not have a plotter and would not rely on it if I did. [ Helped out on too many rescues of people who relied on one for reef nav. ]

I use Imray Iolaire Charts and a cruising guide.
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